Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings: Standard | PPR

Looking for a sleeper to pick up off the waiver wire — or even start? Heath Cummings and Chris Towers pick one player from each team that is either a sneaky Week 1 option or otherwise worthy of targeting.


Would you start Brock Osweiler over Cam Newton in Week 1? Getty Images

Kenny Stills , WR, Miami Dolphins : Seattle is obviously a tough matchup for the Dolphins’ offense, but Stills should line up in the slot quite a bit, and his big-play potential always gives him a chance to go off.

Bilal Powell , RB, New York Jets : The Jets could struggle to run it against this Cincinnati Bengals defense, but Powell should still have a role even after the signing of Matt Fortew. If you’re desperate for a third RB, Powell will at least get his touches.

James White , RB, New England Patriots : The Patriots already have a young quarterbacks’ best friend in Rob Gronkowski , but a capable running back catching passes out of the backfield can help too. LeGarrette Blount should get plenty of work too, but if the Pats can’t put it away on the ground, White should be a factor.

Charles Clay , TE, Buffalo Bills : Clay’s first season with the Bills didn’t go as planned, but he was limited at times by a knee injury that bothered him last offseason. The knee hasn’t been an issue for him this time around, so he could emerge as a more reliable target for Tyrod Taylor this time around.

Terrance West , RB, Baltimore Ravens : West looked a lot better for about 12 hours last weekend, when it looked like Justin Forsett ‘s time with the team was finished. As it is, this backfield looks muddled, but West was the best of the bunch in the preseason, and could surprise with a big role this week.

Eli Rogers , WR, Pittsburgh Steelers : The Steelers’ passing game beyond Antonio Brown could be really rough if someone doesn’t step up, and Rogers at least earned a big role in the preseason. Despite playing fewer snaps than Sammie Coates in exhibition play, Rogers led the team in catches, and should get plenty of work in the slot in what could be a high-scoring game against Washington.

Terrelle Pryor , WR, Cleveland Browns : The converted quarterback actually showed enough in the preseason to earn a starting role, after leading the team with 122 yards on five catches. He is very much a work in progress, but he showed real big-play potential, and could make for an interesting combination with Robert Griffin III if he can get out of the pocket against Buffalo.

Brandon LaFell , WR, Bengals: Someone has the be the No. 2 option for the Bengals in the passing game, especially with A.J. Green facing the still-tough Darrelle Revis . LaFell is nobody’s idea of an exciting reciever, but he has averaged 54.4 yards per game over the last two seasons, and could have a bigger role than usual this week if Green gets locked up.

Phillip Dorsett , WR, Indianapolis Colts : Given the rough state of their defense, this one could turn into a shootout for the Colts, and Dorsett’s big-play ability could prove very valuable for Andrew Luck , given his ability to extend plays.

T.J. Yeldon , RB, Jacksonville Jaguars : This one could really come down to which running back is most reliable on passing downs, because the Jaguars should be trailing early. Yeldon was effective as a pass-catcher last season, while Ivory has more than 20 receptions just once in his six-year career.

Brock Osweiler , WR, Houston Texans : Osweiler’s weapons aren’t the best, but he does have DeAndre Hopkins and exciting rookie Will Fuller heading into a matchup against what was a very bad pass defense in Chicago last season.

Derrick Henry , RB, Tennessee Titans : The Titans have a tough test in Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings , but the good news is, this should be a slow-paced, low-scoring game, which should mean plenty of running opportunities for their No. 2 back.

Travis Benjamin , WR, San Diego Chargers : Benjamin emerged as a big-play ace last season and he did it with the putrid Browns quarterbacking situation. This is a tough matchup, but I’m excited to see what he can do with a real elite passer.

Charcandrick West , RB, Kansas City Chiefs : If Jamaal Charles sits, Spencer Ware is expected to be the main option for the Chiefs, but West should get some work too. West was much more involved in the passing game than Ware, and still had 23 touches in Week 16 and the first round of the playoffs, when Ware was healthy last season.

Emmanuel Sanders , WR, Denver Broncos : The Carolina Panthers will likely be a very stout pass defense yet again this season, but the absence of Josh Norman makes them look a little less scary. This has all the makings of a low-scoring game, but if the Broncos’ defense falters in the opener, Sanders could be a safety blanket for Trevor Siemian in his first NFL start.


Will Michael Thomas continue his strong play against the Oakland Raiders in Week 1? Getty Images

Christine Michael , RB, Seattle Seahawks : If Thomas Rawls can’t go Michael could reasonably be a top 12 RB against a very good matchup. Even if Rawls plays I would expect Michael to have a role and be startable as a flex.

John Brown , WR, Arizona Cardinals : A lot of the luster fell off Brown as he was sidelined for much of the preseason with concussion issues. He played in Week 4 and if he’s a full go this week he has top 20 upside at WR.

Torrey Smith , WR, San Francisco 49ers : Someone has to catch the ball in San Francisco, right? Smith could be a sneaky flex option in a deeper league.

Tavon Austin , WR, Los Angeles Rams : Know your rules because if you get points for kick and punt returns Austin becomes closer to a must-start than a sleeper. In PPR leagues he’s a decent deep-league option.

Kevin White , WR, Chicago Bears : Everyone keeps talking about how bad the Bears are and they aren’t wrong. But that doesn’t hurt wide receivers. White could put up big numbers playing from behind in the second half.

Ameer Abdullah , RB, Detroit Lions : Everyone in this Lions/Colts matchup is in play, but Abdullah isn’t a guy you drafted to be a starter. The Colts have a beat up defense that wasn’t very good in the first place.

Jared Cook , TE, Green Bay Packers : I know, you’ve heard it all before, but Cook actually has a good NFL quarterback now. Richard Rodgers was able to post a top 10 season in this offense and Cook is at least as talented as him.

Stefon Diggs , WR, Vikings: I don’t like the situation for Diggs until Sam Bradford gets acclimated to the roster, but much like Torrey Smith he’s the clear No. 1 and that’s worth something. Diggs has value in deep PPR leagues

Sterling Shepard , WR, New York Giants : The Dallas Cowboys have done a pretty spectacular job against Odell Beckham which should leave the other side of the field open for Shepard. The Giants’ rookie as been very impressive this preseason and could have a breakout game as the Giants attempt to push the pace.

Rob Kelley , RB, Washington Redskins : Matt Jones is no sure thing for the Redskins this week and Kelley probably has a Week 1 role even if Jones is cleared. This play doesn’t come with the upside of Michael but the benefit is Kelley is probably on your waiver wire.

Dak Prescott , QB, Cowboys: There may not be a player with a wider range of outcomes in Week 1 than Prescott. If the Cowboys have their way he’ll probably throw 20 passes in a low-scoring win, but if the Giants win the battle of wills and Prescott has to air it out it’s either going to go really well (like the preseason) or terribly bad.

Darren Sproles , RB, Philadelphia Eagles : I would imagine the Eagles are going to do whatever they can to protect Carson Wentz in his first start. To me that means a heavy does of Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, who is a deep PPR flex option.

Michael Thomas , WR, New Orleans Saints : Thomas wowed everyone at camp and his coach has talked about drafting him in Fantasy. His first game comes in a likely shootout at home. Lower perception from everyone else is the only reason he’s in this column, he’s a solid flex play.

Vincent Jackson , WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers : I expect a bounceback in a big way from Jackson and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that starts in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons . I like Jackson as a No. 3 WR or a very good flex.

Mohamed Sanu , WR, Falcons: Matt Ryan can’t throw every pass to Julio Jones and Sanu is the clear No. 2 in Atlanta. This should be a high scoring game with lots of passing and Sanu is a solid No. 3 option.

Devin Funchess , WR, Panthers: Listen, if you’re starting someone from the Panthers you’re hoping for a touchdown because the yardage totals won’t be impressive. Funchess had a great offseason and with his size he’s as likely to get in the end zone as any WR in Carolina.

Source: CBS Sports Headlines / 2016 Fantasy Football: One sleeper to target on every NFL team